Melbourne [Australia], January 23 (ANI): Andrey Rublev rallied back from the brink to edge out Holger Rune of Denmark in a blockbuster 5-setter clash to book a seat in the quarter-final in the ongoing Australian Open here at the Rod Laver Arena on Monday.
Rublev saved two match points before winning 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (11/9) on Rod Laver Arena. Rublev rallied from 2-5 down to save two match points on serve at 5-6 in the pivotal fifth set before battling back from a 0/5 deficit. He won the match on his third match point when a net cord dribbled over the net, which was cruelly Rune’s third match point.
The twists and turns started early and started to build into the climax early in the fourth set over the period of three hours and 37 minutes. Physically exhausted as he fought off two break points in the opening game, Rune eventually found his game and stole the set, but only after failing to serve it out at 5-3. Early in set five, the Rune was at his best, combining powerful hitting with agile defensive. He eventually converted on his fourth break opportunity of the set to lead 3-1. Yet again, he was unable to serve out the set or, in this case, the match, as Rublev won 12 of 13 points to rally from 2-5.
Despite entertaining the Laver audience with powerful shots and deft shotmaking, neither Rublev nor Rune could seem to find their best tennis at the same time. Rune enjoyed early success as he frustrated his opponent with a solid baseline plan, tempting him into mistakes as the pressure increased in the final-set tie-break.
Rublev turned up the heat as he imposed his will down the stretch, flipping the tie-break with a run of six straight points to lead 9/7 as the match once more seemed to slide away from him.
Rune demonstrated his tenacity by fending off two match points, one of which he saved with a stunning backhand pass after frantic defence. Then, with the friendly net cord, Rublev delivered the softest of closing blows. “I never in my life was able to win matches like this. This is the first ever time that I won something like this, especially in a very special tournament, the Australian Open, to be in the quarter-finals. So it’s something I will remember for sure all my life. I have no words, I am shaking and happy,” ATP.com quoted Rublev as saying in a post-match.